Tag: sustainable


How to Master the Double Cut Tomahawk Chop : An Epic Tale of Pork Chop Wonder

The double cut tomahawk chop looks like something cut by God’s own butcher — it is as powerful a presentation as it is elegant, the kind of thing that makes meat lovers genuflect with love even as they wonder how to cook the darn thing. It’s over two inches thick and it takes some secret knowledge to nail it at a perfect medium while getting all the flavor, juice and texture out of the chop without incineration the outside, without having to go lower slower… the finished product must be seared to perfection, and when cut open, be as pretty and pink as any thing ever to grace your plate. The pay off is huge. You don’t want to screw it up. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

We owe our two-hit technique to Zach Allen, the chef at Carnevino, the Batali and Bastianich citadel of steak out in Las Vegas. These are the same chops they serve there, and at Babbo, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure, the only way to describe the experience is epic. You can plan an afternoon around one of these chops.

First thing: Brine. While not entirely necessary with luscious, healthy, Heritage pork, it definitely helps with these extra-thick cuts to make sure that you won’t dry them out when you put them in the broiler.

 

Brine is easy. We use just salt, and for a minimum of four hours, but you could add a little brown sugar and leave ‘em in the fridge over night.

An alternative to adding that extra bit of sweetness to the brine, is to try a balsamic and sugar glaze to add during the final minutes of cooking – just half a cup of balsamic and about six teaspoons of sugar reduced by about half until the remaining liquid will coat a spoon. Takes about 15 minutes, and you kitchen will smell like vinegar, but can be done way in advance. This will add just a little sweet tang to the chop – not enough to compete with the beautiful taste of the meat, just a note to add a little value to a very thick slice of pork.

For now just dry off the chops and hit them with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Now, fire up the iron skillet. Make it smokin’. Begin by searing and rendering the fat cap on these honeys – you can cook them side to side in their own goodness. No need for oil.

Flip them every two minutes or so – the quick flip method encourages more heat through the entire chop, and you’ll start to see a nice crust on the outside. Everything here is done by vibe, but when it looks nice and brown, maybe 8 – 10 mins total cooking, take them out of the pan, and let them rest, tented, for about 10 mins.

That’s the secret. The meat is still cooking, you’ll have a lot less to travel now to get them to medium. Meanwhile, put the pan in the broiler to keep it hot. 

After ten minutes, paint them with a bit of the glaze, return them to the pan, and put then under the broiler. You will be surprised at how fast they cook. Flip them in 4 or 5 minutes and give them another 4 or 5 on the other side before taking them out testing them for doneness with a thermometer. Just north of 120 degrees is where you want to be – don’t forget they’ll cook while they rest. The glaze will have caramelized and is just going to be a sweet kiss, not a big flavor. Set them aside, tent them, give them 8 or ten minutes, and serve with confidence.

After a few rounds with the knife and fork you can separate the two chops right between the bones for an extra round of gnawing. The beauty of these chops is they take much longer to eat than they do to cook and have the odd quality of building the ego of whomever is enjoying them. Serve with heroic, big wine.

Leftovers!

One of the best things about making big dinners is having leftovers for lunch the next day.

Usually, if we have some steak or lamb left over, it is going into a sandwich. But have you thought about making hash? Lamb hash is a very special treat indeed — just like beef hash all you have to do is chop some potatoes and onions and peppers and have at it (you can always find a recipe online if you don’t feel like free-styling)… with lamb you can add a bit of curry, and it still goes great with eggs or just on its own.

Doing unexpected things with the leftovers is the hallmark of a great chef. Ham sandwiches are great, of course, but how about whipping up a cordon blue? And if that ham has a bone-in, you are looking at the beginning of some great soup.

Here’s an easy tip: pretty much all leftover meat is good on pizza.

Here is another: pretty much all leftover meat is great in a taco.

Leftovers are definitely an art form in themselves. But as ever, it all starts with the ingredients!

Living the Sustainable Life: Cooking with Dandelion

For some, living a sustainable life is a far-fetched dream. Many lack access to sustainable recipes, markets, or essential ingredients to make this movement a reality. Recently, our friend Anastasia Plakias of the Brooklyn Grange gave us some delicious ideas for cooking with an unlikely, but easy to find ingredient: Dandelion. Below is Anastasia’s featured recipe, which can be made even tastier using Heritage Pork Jowl. To hear the entire segment from Heritage Radio Network, click here.
Anastasia

 

1lb good quality orecchiette (I’m partial to De Cecco)
Kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
¼ pound guanciale, cut into ¼” by 1” slices*
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tspn chili flake
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large bunch of dandelions, cleaned and chiffonaded
1 Tbspn flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ grated pecorino cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Guanciale is cured pork jowl. Often, bacon is subbed for guanciale in Americanized recipes, which is totally bogus. There’s no excuse to use overpowering smoked bacon in place of the subtler-flavored meat. You can get great guanc here in NYC at the Meat Hook, where they cure theirs in house. Don’t feel like making the trip to Williamsburg? No excuse! Heritage Foods USA will ship their amazing product directly to your door!

Directions:

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to boil, salting liberally (2-3 Tbsp) until briny like seawater. In a colander, dunk the greens into the boiling water and bring back to a boil. Cook for one minute and then plunge into ice water or run under a cold tap.

Add the pasta to the water, stirring so it does not stick together.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large sauté pan (preferably non-stick, if you’re lazy like I am) over medium high heat. Add the guanciale, cooking till the fat has been rendered and there’s a bit of brown crustiness around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain well, squeezing between towels. Reserve until ready to use.

Add the chili flake and garlic and toast for 1-2 minutes, till the garlic begins to turn golden, but not brown. Add butter and greens and sauté for about 2 minutes, till the leaves wilt through. Add salt to taste.

When the pasta is almost a perfect al dente, use a spider to transfer to pan. If you don’t have a spider, you should really go get one, they’re like a dollar in Chinatown. For the purposes of this recipe you can reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander. The idea is to bring a bit of the cooking water with the pasta into the pan. the heat up to high under the skillet and add the grated cheese, tossing to coat the pasta. Add pasta water as necessary to create a nice emulsification and prevent the dish from getting dry. When all the cheese has been incorporated, toss in the parsley and remove from heat.

Serve immediately with a medium bodied red wine, like a Teroldego.

Heritage Chicken with Fennel, Black Olives, and Orange Zest

Heritage chicken is widely regarded as the most flavorful, delectable poultry in the world. Unlike the chicken found in run-of-the-mill grocery stores and restaurants, heritage chickens are raised humanely on open pastures. This lifestyle allows them amble time for exercise, making their meat firm and delicious. Heritage chicken typically have larger, meatier legs due to all this running around! For this reason, always remember to cook your Heritage chicken slowly and at lower temperatures than you would for store-bought poultry. 
 

Jersey_Giant_Cooked

 

Ingredients:
1 Heritage Chicken (3lbs)
1 Large Fennel Bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
½ Cup Gaeta or Nicoise Olives
1 Orange: 1 tsp of orange zest plus its juice
½ Cup White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Stock
Thyme
Bay Leaf
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 295° F.
Cut chicken up into eight to ten pieces. Dredge in flour with salt and pepper and shake off excess flour. Heat a skillet and add enough olive oil to generously coat the pan. Brown the pieces lightly, in batches, over medium heat, adding olive oil as needed. Do not crowd the pan or the chicken will steam.
Put chicken into a crock pot or dutch oven. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and saute fennel and onion until just softened. Add orange zest, thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Let the wine bubble for a minute, then add stock and juice. Pour the contents of the skillet over the browned chicken pieces, add the olives, and cover.

Cook for about 3 hours in the oven, or for manufacturers recommended time in your crock pot.
Serve over Israeli couscous, barley, or a grain of your choice.

 

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